Celebrate Providence! 2016 The Neighborhood Performing Arts Initiative: Summer 2016

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, the Department of Parks & Recreation and the Partnership for Providence Parks are pleased to announce Celebrate Providence! 2016. Mayor Jorge O. Elorza’s Neighborhood Performing Arts Initiative celebrates the culture and creativity rooted in Providence neighborhoods through performances in local parks. All events are free and open to the public.

West Elmwood Housing kicks off the Celebrate Providence! 2016 summer series on July 7 at Bucklin Park. The event will run from 5:30-7:30PM and include programming for kids from The Providence Children’s Museum!

Opera Providence will bring their Summer Performance Series to Hopkins Square Park (intersection of Charles Street and Branch Avenue) on Sunday evenings in July (July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31). Performances will begin at 5:00PM. This year, Opera Providence themes will take you on a journey around the world. Kicking off the series on July 10 is the performance theme “Canto Italiano,” an evening of Italian opera arias and song. On July 17, Opera Providence presents a French female musical experience with “Liberté, Egalité et Sororité.” The performance series then ventures to Latin America with “Zarzuela! and Latin-American songs” on July 24. Finishing the Summer Performance Series on July 31, Opera Providence showcases American opera and Broadway songs like “America,” from West Side Story.

Elmhurst Clean & Green hosts Concerts & Movies at Fargnoli Park (945 Smith Street) throughout July and August (July 12, July 19, July 26, August 23, August 30). This year, the summer theme is “Back to the 80’s.” Each event will begin with story time at 5:30PM. During this time, art activities and face painting will also be available for kids, hosted by The Providence Children’s Museum. The summer concerts will start at 6:00PM; line-up includes Grupo Sazon, Magnolia, RPM Voices of RI, Guillaume Trois, and Joe’s Backyard Band Snacks and food will be available for purchase from the Little League.

Family Service of RI’s Providence Children’s Initiative will bring a series of neighborhood block parties to Harriet & Sayles Park (Harriet and Sayles Streets) in July (July 13, July 27). Both events will feature music from DJ Flo & Yara and games presented by Inspiring Minds, The Providence Children’s Museum, and the South Providence Library. FREE books and face painting will be available for kids! With special appearances by Miss Rhode Island Belleza Latina. On July 27, performances include the JJ Latin Dancers and more! The block parties run from 5:00 – 7:30PM. Food will be provided free of charge – hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, lemonade.

Friends of Brown Street Park will host their annual Summer Concert Series at Brown Street Park (behind Hope High School) on select Wednesdays in July (July 13, July 27) beginning at 5:30PM. On July 13, The Red Pennys will showcase their unique blend of old country, honky tonk, and roadhouse rhythms and riffs. Brown Street Park finishes up the concert series with the alt-country sound of Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch on July 27. Food will be available for sale, generously donated by Whole Foods Market University Heights.

West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA) is bringing West Side Thursdays to Dexter Training Ground Park this July (July 21, July 28)! On July 21, Alec Redfearn and the Eyesores will surprise the audience with their unique blend of folk, jazz, country, and rock. West Side resident Alec is a well know artist accomplished composer, songwriter, accordionist and more. The West Side Play Space Imagination Playground will be available for kids. Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars will perform on July 28. Over the years they have evolved to become one of Africa’s most recognized bands with fans across the globe. The evening will feature fun activities and games, facilitated by The Providence Children’s Museum. All events will run from 5:30-7:00PM.

Oasis International presents the 22nd Annual African Summer Bash at Richardson Park (64 Richardson Street), celebrating the diversity of cultures in Africa. The Summer Bash, set up like marketplace, will feature live entertainment and vendors that are representative of the local community. With performances by Cambodian and Dominican dance groups, Rhode Island Black Storytellers, and various African performance groups. The event will also have a waterpark and an obstacle course for kids, as well as traditional African children’s games. Come enjoy this celebration of African art and culture from 1:00 – 7:00PM on July 30!

The Wilbury Theatre Group presents their 2nd Annual Family Fringe Day at Riverside Park (65 Aleppo Street). Family Fringe Day consists of an outdoor day of fun and play, with performances by The Manton Avenue Project, Providence Youth Slam, and Hasbro. The event also features a series of interactive arts workshops from The Wilbury Theatre Group, Trinity Rep’s Young Actors Summer Institute (YASI), Ocean State Theatre Company, CityArts, and more! The entire FringePVD Festival runs from July 26 – July 30, with support from RI Food Fights and Jim Nellis. Celebrate Providence! Family Fringe Day programming will run from 1:00 – 4:00PM on July 30. This event is an inclusive, safe, and fun arts- and play-experience, appropriate for all ages.

Mixed Magic Theatre presents The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. From 5:00-8:00PM on August 4, The Providence Children’s Museum will host activities and games for kids and families to play in the park. The performance will then begin at 8:00PM at Billy Taylor Park (124 Camp Street). It is suggested that attendees bring lawn chairs and blankets, as no seating will be provided.